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Edward de Souza
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The sheriff of Nottingham plots to confiscate the estate of the Lord of Bortrey, who has died on Crusade. The Archbishop of Canterbury speaks against this plot, and the sheriff plans to eliminate him. Robin Hood pretends to undertake the assassination of the Archbishop for the plotters; Maid Marion, meeting him thinks him the leader of a gang of murderers, and leads him into a trap. Written by
Bruce Cameron <email@example.com>
Oliver Reed's voice is not heard; he's dubbed throughout by another (anonymous) actor attempting to sound like Reed's normal voice. Reed's own voice is heard in the film's trailer, where he adopts a very camp lisping French accent. See more »
In one scene, Robin is asked to shoot at a pumpkin. Pumpkins are a New World squash; the earliest references to Robin Hood are from about 1228, well before Columbus' voyage. See more »
The movie begins and ends with a short song so as to be consistent with the TV series. The song at the end of the movie goes something like this: "And so Robin and his lady/returned to Sherwood Forest,/There to stay evermore." See more »
A real oddity from Hammer Films, SWORD OF SHERWOOD FOREST (1960) is their only film based on a popular UK TV series which actually features the star of the show in the movie. The rest of the cast has still been replaced, however, and because of the nature of the story, it almost has to be an "alternate universe" continuity as I see no way it could fit into the run of the TV show.
Robin Hood (Richard Green) faces off mostly against the Sheriff of Nottingham (Peter Cushing), which means you've got "Sir Henry Baskerville" fighting "Sherlock Holmes"-- although Cushing comes across more like "Baron Frankenstein" in this one.
Also in the cast, I realized on my 3rd viewing, are no less than 3 actors who were in JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS-- Little John is Nigel Green (Hercules), the Archbishop of Canterbury is Jack Gwillim (King Aeetes of Colchis), and Friar Tuck (the film's comic relief) is Niall MacGinnis (Zeus). Of course, having Richard Green & Nigel Green together also means you have 2 different "Sir Dennis Nayland Smiths" side-by-side for most of the picture!
Oddly enough, the REAL villain turns out to be "Edward, Earl of NewarK", played by Richard Pasco, who I've never seen in anything else, but apparently played baddies in 3 different episodes of the TV series.
Also in the cast are Derren Nesbitt (WHERE EAGLES DARE) in one of his rare "good guy" roles, Edwin Richfield ("The Sea Devils") as a minor villain, and Oliver Reed (THE BIG SLEEP) as a total bastard, who, inexplicably, had his entire performance dubbed by another actor.
It's a "nice" film, but not a great one, as the plot tends to ramble and never quite builds any kind of momentum, resembling more than anything a 30's serial with the cliffhangers removed. Richard Green was one of the producers, and it's not by one of Hammer's regular writers, either. Still, anything with Peter Cushing, directed by Terrence Fisher is worth a look.
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